Over the years I have tried lots of times to bring order to the chaos that erupts in our garden. Crazy weeds that overgrow everything and my husband using the garden as a tip/storage space for random things means that I have always struggled. This is coupled with strange quirks in the garden that have been there since such as raised beds which are full of bricks below about two inches of soil so you could not dig down. There were six inch gaps between the back of the raised bed and the fence so that the space becomes useless. The garden was on various levels, so that the kids could not ride a bike or scooter around it and the fence has been broken for years. Every time we fixed it, our kids and the neighbours kids would break it again so that they could play together.
After one winter when I ventured out again:
Last years attempt at organising and tidying up a little:
Over the years, I have made various attempts to make the space productive and attractive including using lots of containers and pots:
During the summer it would bloom and we would be bale to grow something - strawberries, tomatoes, aubergine, peppers, mint, coriander, beans, potatoes.
It was a great learning opportunity for my children who all had their own patches and loved to help out.
I always felt though that the space could have been used better and that everything I did was superficial and not quite enough.
Last summer my mum- and dad-in-law came to stay. Both are very handy and very tenacious. They decided to make a project of the garden and spent the summer taking everything apart. They took up the floor tiles and made the garden all one level. dad-in-law raised the gutters at the same time to make sure the technical aspects were taken care of as well as the aesthetic ones.
He hunted around for new tiles and managed to find the ones in the picture below for free. He also made new fences to replace the broken ones. He found giant fridge transportation pallets (wooden boxes), took them apart and nailed them together one by one to create the fences.
I was a little disappointed when they covered over some of the beds and left me with the one long one at the back that I insisted on. It just means that I have to put more thought into what goes into the limited space and use the containers to add growing space.
The garden feels so much bigger and neater alhamdulillah. I am so very grateful for the work they have put in.
It means that this spring when I ventured outside there was much less work for me in terms of clearing junk and trying to make the space look tidy. I could focus on making it pretty with flowers and fairy lights:
The mint tends to take over the flower beds, so we have put it in this big pot and it is plenty for us to make mint sauce with.
We come and sit outside and chat and enjoy the sun whenever we get a moment and I out the little gazebo up for the children.
Darling loves playing in here whilst her grandmother catches some sun and it means that we don't have to rush out to bring in the cushions on the bench every time it rains.
Alhamdulillah the flowers are blooming. I am trying to train some trailing flowers up the fence and the kids have planted beans. I have added tomatoes and will try and et some other vegetables growing between the flowers.
With hubby's help we put up some colourful solar fairy lights. I am looking forward to growing things, summer barbecues and sitting in the garden during the warm summer evenings insh'Allah.